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Career Hub
Career Paths
October 2, 2020
June 28, 2022

Quick Tip: The Perfect LinkedIn Headline

Dave Fano

LinkedIn automatically generates a new headline when you update your current position, but should you accept the default suggestion?

LinkedIn automatically generates a new headline when you update your current position, but should you accept the default suggestion? No way. In this episode, I share the simple framework for writing the perfect LinkedIn headline that'll drive more visibility to your profile. You never know when you may catch the eye of someone who works at your next employer.

Examples of the perfect headline mentioned in episode:

Full show notes & transcript:

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US or Canada? Text Vincent: +1 615-667-8433

Automated Transcript

Editor's Note: We provide a transcript of each episode to make it easy to search and read. Since robots are not ready to take over the world yet, the artificial intelligence isn't perfect. There may be some typos in the automated transcript.

Vincent Phamvan (00:01):
From Vyten career coaching. It's how I got here. A show about business leaders, their resilience, and the stories behind their career moves.

I'm Vincent Phamvan, and I've interviewed thousands of job candidates over the years in both recruiting and as a former corporate executive. Now I'm on a mission to help you take the next step in your career.

A corporate job opening attracts an average of 250 resumes, and just one person is going to get hired. It wasn't all that long ago that I was nervous and frustrated by my job search, but it doesn't have to be this way. You can navigate your career with confidence, spend everyday learning and drive to better yourself.

You can be excited about the future.

Hello, my friends. It's quick tip Friday and welcome back to another quick tip episode. This episode today, we're going to be talking about the perfect LinkedIn profile headline.

Vincent Phamvan (00:53):
There's 120 characters that you have to summarize your entire life. Everything that you've done, your body of accomplishments and 120 characters kind of crazy, but it can definitely be done. And the reason why we're talking about this this week is because it's been a tough week.

It's been a challenging week for sure. Disney announced this week on Tuesday, that they were laying off 28,000 workers. And, you know, obviously there's been a slowdown in the resort business.

Allstate said it was cutting almost 3,800 jobs because not as many drivers out on the road, so they don't need as many people to file insurance claims. And even Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs is cutting 400 jobs earlier this year. They announced they were temporarily suspending their job reductions, but now they're continuing on, unfortunately with the reduction in these roles and the airlines have been impacted as well.

Vincent Phamvan (01:39):
American airlines with 19,000 workers, United airlines with 13,000 workers. But it is the first Friday of the month and being the first Friday of the month, the job report comes out later on today. And economists are expecting when that comes out.

That 875,000 people are have, would have started a new job in the month of September. And so this shows that it is an important time to have your LinkedIn profile up to date, to be able to keep your network warm, because the best way of in the future, having somebody help you is when you help them, when you don't need help and you continue to keep those relationships built.

But when you go out and you help people before you need to ask for a favor in the future, that's the best way of being able to a go out and help people, but B keep your network warm.

Vincent Phamvan (02:31):
Now your LinkedIn profile headline is the number one thing that determines whether people are going to click on your profile or not. And so we're going to talk about my framework for the perfect LinkedIn profile headline. You know, previously I was a recruiter and it was important to be able, you know, as I was going through thousands of LinkedIn profiles, there were just headlines that stood out over others.

And obviously these are the types of things that help your profile get more visibility, whether you're for a job right now or not this right now, this week shows that it's important to keep your LinkedIn profile up to date. And so the first question, there's three questions where I'm looking at a link, a list of profiles.

There's three questions that really need to be answered in under three seconds. And the first question is, what does this person done?

Vincent Phamvan (03:20):
What does this person done in the past? And there's two different components to that. Number one, I'm talking about functional area or industry, right?

That could be marketing, it could be finance, it could be HR, it could be in the healthcare industry, it could be in the hospitality industry, it could be in the tech. But what have they done in terms of the functional area, as well as the industry? The second one is level within the organization. Have they done that at a manager level?

Are they an individual contributor? Is this person a VP director? Are they an executive?

And so it's important to be able to quickly answer the question, what have they done and out what level of the organization, and without that level of clarity, it stops right there. If somebody can't tell what you've done, they're not going to click into your profile.

Vincent Phamvan (04:08):
And you know, it's not, it's not like you want to make it a puzzle. You want to make it very, very clear yes or no right away under three seconds. Could this person be a fit for the role that somebody is looking to fill?

Now, when you do a search on LinkedIn, if you were to go on LinkedIn right now and just search for marketing manager, you're going to see hundreds of people, thousands of people that all have a LinkedIn headline that just says marketing manager at company name. And the problem with that is if you want to stand out to hiring managers, if you want to stand out to recruiters, there's nothing in there that would make you stand out.

If you have the exact same LinkedIn headline as every parody, literally everybody else. And so the second question of the three questions that needs to be answered in under three seconds is what do you know that makes you different?

Vincent Phamvan (04:56):
What do you know that makes you different? And there's a couple of different ways that people go here. The first one is you could include different types of certifications.

Certifications are a third party endorsement that you have some type of skill set or that you have some type of body of knowledge. You could also include an accomplishment and an accomplishment could be a validation of some type of award, or that you've been a speaker at some type of industry conference, or it could be a validation of your result.

Maybe you've been able to increase email, open rates by 15%. Maybe you're an expert at getting engagement in social media. And that social media management is your area of expertise and specialization.

So how do you show and how do you prove that you're different, you're different and better than the other people on that page when somebody is doing a similar search and the last one is where do you want to go?

Vincent Phamvan (05:49):
And where do you want to go is really important if you're pivoting careers. So if you're moving from one industry to another industry, if you're moving from one functional to another functional area, if you want to take the next step and grow and, and become a people leader, these are all things that are important to be able to demonstrate in your LinkedIn profile.

So those are the three questions. That's my framework for the perfect LinkedIn profile headline.

So question number one. What have you done both keywords and level within the organization? Number two, what makes you different? What makes you better than the average person that also has had that same job title has also worked in that area?

And number three, what do you want to do next? Where are you going next? And especially if you're looking to make a change, that's really important to be able to call out.

Vincent Phamvan (06:39):
So a common question that I get is should you put seeking new opportunities? So should you show that you're open to new opportunities or that you're unemployed in your headline? And the answer is no, you should not include that when recruiters are looking for job candidates, it doesn't matter whether those job candidates currently have a role or whether they're unemployed.

A recruiter is just looking for the best person with the best skill set, the best experience and the best fit with the team's culture to be able to fill that role. And so putting unemployed or putting, seeking new opportunities in your headline is really just a waste of valuable real estate. You could use that space to show why you're the best candidate, why you would be the best candidate, instead of just saying that you're seeking new opportunities.

Hey, there it's Vincent real quick.

Vincent Phamvan (07:26):
Before we continue with this episode of how I got here, how would you like to win a personal LinkedIn profile assessment personally completed by me to help with your job search? I know I'd love to be able to help you out.

And I know that I would have loved to have had somebody look over my LinkedIn profile and show me how to make it irresistible to recruiters and hiring managers back when I was looking for a more fulfilling career. So let's make it happen.

Here's how all you have to do is rate my, how I got here podcast on Apple podcasts and share it in just a few easy steps. Start by writing a review on Apple podcasts. Then leave a rating. Five stars would be even better next, take a screenshot of your review and share it on LinkedIn or Instagram using the hashtag Vyten podcast each week.

Vincent Phamvan (08:15):
I'll select one random winner from the submissions to receive our 99 job search templates kit. This includes a job search organizer, email templates, LinkedIn templates, resume templates, cover letter templates, thank you notes. And even salary negotiation templates, then monthly we'll select a random winner for a personal LinkedIn profile analysis completed by me.

So again, write a review, rate the show, take a screenshot and share it on Instagram or LinkedIn with the hashtag #VytenPodcast. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a review. It means the world to me and this week's winner is Jake Vick. Jake writes in a five star review, great podcast.

I love the career advice provided very useful for my future jobs. Hey Jake, thanks so much. Send us an email at and we'll get your 99 job search templates right over to you.

Thanks Now, back to this episode of how I got here.

Vincent Phamvan (09:18):
To be able to signal to recruiters that you're open to new opportunities, you should use the open to work box. Instead, the open work box is a feature in your LinkedIn profile where you can turn it on and then you can put your target job titles. You can put your target start date, you can put the locations that you're open to work, or maybe you're looking for remote roles.

And you can also list out whether you're open to full time roles, contract roles or part time roles. And it's much better to put that information in that open to work box. And then you have two different options.

You can either make that visible to recruiters, or you can make that visible to everybody. And you would want to make that visible to recruiters only if you're in a confidential job search. So a confidential job search would be where you're, you're currently employed and nobody at your current employer knows that your in the middle of a job search.

Vincent Phamvan (10:05):
But otherwise I would recommend opening that up because the more people that know about your job search, if you're not in a confidential job search, those are more people who could make an introduction to you or maybe their company is hiring. Alright, so let's see this in action. I have, I was going through my first connections on LinkedIn and there were four people that really stood out with a really great LinkedIn headline in one of these particular areas.

So the first one isEcin. Who's at Tesla and her LinkedIn profile headline says internship program at Tesla, right? So right away, I already know what does she do?

And then she also has the vertical line. And then she says, recruiter, another vertical line program management, another vertical line, aspiring product manager. So let's go through the three questions. Do we know what she does?

Vincent Phamvan (10:59):
Yeah. She works on internship programs at Tesla, right? What makes her different? She's at Tesla.

So this is some people always I always get the question: should you put the name of your employer? If you have a brand name employer, if you work at a top employer at a desirable employer and Tesla obviously falls into this category, then yeah. That could actually be a differentiator that you put on your profile.

Now, what I love is number three, where does she want to go, what does she want to do next? Right, they're aspiring product manager.

There's no uncertainty at all. Under three seconds. All three questions are answered by that headline.

So the next person is song Sado. So her headline says director, comma, finance, and then in parentheses, she puts FP&A which is a pretty common acronym that's used for finance types roles.

Vincent Phamvan (11:58):
And then after that, she has a comma and she says strategic planning. And then she has a vertical line and it says, I turn the power of numbers, $31 million into actionable insights. And so she checks all three of those boxes, right, what is she done?

Finance and strategic planning. What level of the organization at a director level, what makes her different? She's working with large data sets.

How do I know this? Because she turns the power of numbers, $31 million into actionable insights. She's working at pretty large companies.

And so all three of those questions are answered right away. Now she doesn't specifically say like Anastasia, aspiring product manager and that's okay, because if she's looking for similar roles to what she's done, there's still a clear roadmap there. All right, the last one or the next one is a Fallon.

So Fallon has a certification, right?

Vincent Phamvan (12:56):
Or actually, let me tell you the headline for it. So she has her name and then after that, she has a comma and it says C M M. So CMM is certification and meeting management. Then her headline says global event guru global event, guru entrepreneur, community leader, problem solver, progress maker.

These are different types of keywords, but the key words that she's using it in everything that she does already answers all three of those questions. What does she do? If I'm planning an event, she's going to be my guru.

She's going to be my go to person, right? At what level has she done that she's an entrepreneur. So she's a founder.

She owns this organization, this business that she runs, what makes her different? Well, what makes her different?

She has this all over her headline, CMM certification and meeting management. So validation by a third party that she has, the skills has the knowledge to be able to do what she says she does.

Vincent Phamvan (13:52):
And she outright says guru. She outright says, I'm the best at this. And how do I know what, like, what are the attributes of that person?

And that's where she has follows up with the keywords community leader, problem solver, progress maker. And if I'm planning an event, I want somebody who is a leader. If I'm planning an event, I want somebody who's a problem solver.

If I'm planning an event, I want somebody who's a progress maker. So a little bit different, but it still has all of those components.

What do you do? What level of the organization, what makes you different? What makes you better than others?

And where are you doing in the future? Where are you going in the future?

So the last one is Barb Blake. So Barb Blake her LinkedIn profile headline says seasoned production manager, client relationship, guru, forward thinker, resourceful leader, Vyten Council.

Vincent Phamvan (14:48):
And so it checks all of those boxes. What has she done in the past? She's not just a production manager, but she's a seasoned production manager, right?

And she has the different keywords that are what makes her better or different while she's, forward-thinking over thinker, she's a resourceful leader. But she's seasoned, she's seasoned in what she does. And what does she want to do in the future?

She's looking for a manager level role and a production manager type capacity. So it has that those components of what level in the organization, what are the key words and what makes her different? What makes her better?

And this works, this strategy works case in point, Barb Blake yesterday announced on LinkedIn that she's starting a new role. She's starting a new job next week. And so congratulations, Barb.

Now you're summarizing here. The three questions that must be answered by your LinkedIn profile headline right away.

Vincent Phamvan (15:39):
What have you done keywords for the different areas, whether that's function or industry as well as needs to show at what level of the organization, number two, what makes you different? What do you know, what have you done what have you achieved that makes you different?

That makes you better than others in the market. And lastly, if you're making a change, if you're transitioning, if you're making a pivot, what, where are you going in the future? If people don't know where you want to go in the future, it's impossible for them to be able to help you out.

By the way, earlier this week, I shared a do phone number. And if you haven't already, I want you to text me if you're working to level up your career. If you're working to take your next career move, I want to hear from you. And so shoot me a text at (615) 667-8433.

Vincent Phamvan (16:29):
Again, that's (615) 667-8433. I'm looking forward to being able to chat with all of you and we'll see you next time. Thank you so much for listening to the show this week.

If this podcast was helpful to you, the best thing that you can do to support is please consider rating and reviewing the show on Apple podcasts. This helps us help more people just like you move towards the life that they desire.

Visit our podcasts on Apple podcasts, then score to the bottom, tap the rate with five stars and just leave a sentence or two about what you loved most about this episode. You can subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts, or you can write at I'm Vincent Phamvan, and you've been listening to how I got here.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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